Padilla Erickson 2007 “El Jefe” and 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon

2007 “El Jefe”
61% Syrah, 21% Petite Sirah, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon; 14.7% ABV
$5 at the Richmond, CA, store on 7 Oct

PadillaErickson_2007_ElJefeThis blend looked very interesting, and a 2007 wine should be old enough, so I thought I’d try it.  I found it rather ripe and soft for my taste, but I’m sure many people will love it, and I’d definitely give it Thumbs Up.

It was not bad at first pour, but I thought it needed about 70 minutes of air for the fruit to really come out.  Then, it showed dark, tarry blackberry and boysenberry, with a “roasted” or “grilled” character, balanced with zingy acid of dark cranberry, and a slight herbaceous flavor close to the tar.  The texture is on the thicker side and smooth.

The saved, single-glass, screwcap bottle had flavors that were redder and more integrated, more tobacco than tar, and perhaps more acid, but still very good.

2010 Cabernet Sauvignon; 15.5% ABV
$5 at the Richmond, CA, store on 8 Oct.  Gone there now.

PadillaErickson_2010_CabThis Cabernet looked quite promising, with a very heavy bottle and pretty label.  I think it’s rather similar to, but slightly better than, the El Jefe.

This wine surprised me by not being tremendously different from the El Jefe.  The fruit is still on the soft and ripe side, although it has more tannic density and does taste more like Cabernet.  🙂  However, it would not surprise me at all if this wine also had some Syrah or 1% to 3% Petite Sirah.  While it was tasty enough at first pour, I thought it needed about two hours to become reasonably accessible, and I liked it best after three hours.  The wine showed flavors of tangy boysenberry / blueberry in addition to the more usual Cab flavors of blackberry, purple plum, purple cherry, a little cranberry, still with some of the same “roasted” character of the El Jefe.  The ripe fruit has plenty of balancing, ripe acid, and the finish is more tannic than the El Jefe.

The saved SGSCB was, like the El Jefe, redder and more integrated, but still very good.

Ron Piazza wrote about this wine: “Ok had to give this a try. At 15.5% alcohol I was expecting quite a bit of heat. Surprise, zero what you have is a lovely velvety wine, with ripe Napa fruit, dusty, cassis berries in the nose, smooth on the palate, a bit short in the finish but no real problems.”


14 thoughts on “Padilla Erickson 2007 “El Jefe” and 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon

  1. EHL

    Had the Padilla Erickson Cab over a couple of nights.

    First impression was that this was a ripe and big Red dominated by smooth and luscious black fruit — although nicely dry, not jammy. However, it still struck me as flabby…not enough acidity to balance all that fruit. Nice dusty tannins (Rutherford grapes in the mix?), though.

    The finish, unfortunately, was marred by excessive heat…you can definitely taste that 15.5 % alcohol burn.

    For the price of $5 at Oakland, I’m glad I picked up a couple of these SRP $60 bottles, but I’m also glad I didn’t get more…

  2. EHL

    Been drinking a bottle of the El Jefe over the last couple of days.

    Nice Rhonish-Bordeaux blend…especially on the second day, when it developed deeper, more complex flavors that showcased the ripe black plum and blackberry fruit with plenty of balancing acidity, concluding with a nice spicy, peppery finish. Didn’t get any oxidation nor stewed prune notes, thankfully.

    Have to agree with SB…”delicious,” if short of opulent…a remarkable Paso Robles value for $5. Snagged a half-case now, as I’m not sure it will be around for the upcoming sale.

  3. whineceller

    Picked up El Jefe for 4.99 at Oakland Grocery outlet. As said above this is little on the Parker Grape (Plum side) but overall its good for the price. I’ve paid 20-30 and had worse.

  4. DavidLikesWine

    Opened one bottle of each last night. To me, the El Jefe has more acidity to balance the ripe fruit. I have to say the fruit has an almost oxidized taste to me. Stewed, bordering on over the hill. Maybe that’s the “tarry” note other folks are getting. It’s not to my taste sadly.

    The Cab we way too soft on opening, but firmed up pretty nicely at about the hour mark with some dusty tannins. Definitely a cocktail wine in my opinion, but carries it’s 15.5% ABV better than many. It is my preferred of the two.

  5. seedboy

    I am actually saying that I like El Jefe enough to buy a few more of them, even though I am waist deep in GO syrah at home. Not so sure about the cab.

  6. seedboy

    These wines are made in the ripe, low acid style designed to achieve high Parker scores. Most readers know that is not my style. That said, El Jefe is delicious.

    1. weinish

      Ok, hold your horses. It seems you and I have at least similar taste. Are you saying this is “delicious” and you personally would like more of it, or are you more saying it’s a big wine, and you can see why others would like it?

      I guess I’ll just walk over and buy a bottle.

    2. delmartian1

      Opened an El Jefe last night that I picked up from the San Marcos GO. The alcohol level was apparent from the start. I’m more of a Bordeaux blend guy so this one did not work for me as it was a bit like roasted plum in flavor.


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